Mission Celebrations

There are four celebrations during the mission. Most parishes schedule the celebration for the evening in the parish church. Some parishes schedule the celebration twice each day - one for those who prefer not to go out at night and the other in the evening when most people are home from work.

The following is a sample outline of the first celebration of the Proclaiming Abundant Love. Detailed outlines for all of the celebrations are found in the Liturgy Plans

Session 1 - People of the Covenant

The focus of the first evening is God's covenant with us - a covenant signed in water and in blood. It is a covenant God made with all humanity in the blood of Christ - a covenant by which we - who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13) It is a personal covenant as well - for in the waters of baptism we enter into covenant with the God who calls us each by name.

We are invited to the water, to the place where we entered into covenant with the Almighty. We are invited to renew that covenant - to remember that Christ's blood flows in our veins and thus unites us not only to God but to one another.

Introductory Rites

Entrance Song and Procession

The procession is led by a cross and two candles. The Book of the Gospels is carried in next. Members of the local mission team are followed in by the pastor and the members of the preaching team. Generally, all of them are seated in the first few pews at the front of the church.

Sign of the Cross

Generally, the pastor begins the mission with the sign of the cross, greeting, introductions and welcome. After the opening prayer, one of the members of the preaching team presides, while another preaches and the third accompanies the children for their liturgy of the Word.


Introduction and Welcome

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.

God of the covenant,
you created us in your own image
You made a covenant with Israel
as you led them from slavery to freedom
and invited all people to be your people
in Christ and through his blood.
Renew with us now that covenant
by which we became your beloved sons and daughters.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who shed his precious blood for our salvation,
and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.

Liturgy of the Word

Dismissal of Children

The children are invited to gather for a special Liturgy of the Word designed specifically for them. One of the members of the preaching team accompanies them, shares the scriptures with them, and engages in some form of creative activity that helps them to understand that they are people of the covenant.

Reading I -  Exodus 24:3-8

Responsorial Psalm

The parish musicians choose a responsorial setting of one of the following psalms:

Psalm 63

My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord, my God.

Psalm 89

For ever, I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Gospel Acclamation

Gospel - Luke 3:21-22, 4:1-2a, 13


One of the preachers prepares a presentation of fifteen to twenty minutes. It ends with a question which the members of the assembly are invited to reflect upon and share.

Faith Sharing

Members of the assembly are invited to form groups of three of four to share some of their answers to the question posed by the preachers. Two or three members of the assembly may be invited to share their reflections or insights with the rest of the assembly.

Return of the Children

The children who were earlier dismissed for the Children?s Liturgy of the Word are welcomed back to the assembly in order to participate in the ritual. When they return, they might be invited to share some of their experience with the adult community.


Blessing the Water

As water is poured into the font or into one or more large bowls the presider prays: 

Lord God,
you led Israel through the waters
which set them free from Pharaoh?s army
and made them your chosen people.

You proclaimed Jesus
as your beloved Son,
and sent him to be our savior
in the waters of the Jordan.

You brought us into that covenant
through baptism and the Holy Spirit.

Breath once again upon these waters,
that they might be holy
and a source of grace
for all whom you have called and chosen.

We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.


The presider invites the assembly to come forward to bless themselves with the water that has just been blessed.

Let all who thirst come to the waters.
Let us know there once again
the grace of the one in whom we have been saved.

Procession to the Water & Prayer over the People

Everyone in the assembly processes to the water and blesses themselves. They are encouraged to use the water lavishly. Several members of the local mission team might be standing near the water with towels to dry off the hands of those who have blessed themselves.

At least four members of the local mission team are invited to pray over people as they return from the water. They touch those with whom they are praying, either holding their hands in their hands or laying their hands on the shoulders or heads of those with whom they are praying. The following prayer might be used as part of this:

God of the covenant,
renew in your son/daughter
the grace you poured out upon him/her in baptism
and help him/her to know your abundant love
each and every day of his/her life.

Lord's Prayer

Renewed by God's grace,
we pray together
the words our savior Jesus gave us.

Our Father . . .
for the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.

Sign of Peace

The presider invites the assembly to share a sign of peace with one another.

Closing Prayer

Almighty and ever present God,
endless font of life and grace,
nourishing the earth
and bringing mercy to a fragile and broken world,
you renew with us the everlasting covenant
in the Precious Blood of your Son,
reconciling all who were far off
and bringing near those who were lost and forgotten.

Draw us into your boundless love.
Help us to drink deeply of your truth,
to take up the cup of eternal salvation
and to call on your holy Name.

Teach us to do your will
that all may see and know your peace.

We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Christ,
our crucified and risen Lord
who poured out his blood on the cross
for the life of the world,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Concluding Rites


Members of the assembly are invited to the social afterwards, to come back for the next celebration and to bring a friend, and to consider becoming a sponsor with the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging.


To remind the people of Israel of the covenant,
God taught Aaron to call down God?s blessings upon the people.
Tonight we use his words, as we pray:

The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

The Lord look upon you with kindness and fill you with peace.

May almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


Closing Song


On the first, second, and last evening of the parish mission, there is time for food and fellowship. If the mission takes place during Lent, the food should be rather simple in keeping with the spirit of the season.

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